These “year-in-review” posts sometimes feel somewhat obligatory, but in this case, 2011 was an incredible year and as I look back, I’m overwhelmed with topics to write about.
Here are some standout memories:
2011 was a record year for me as far as the college tour goes. Somanygreatmemories. I performed in morecollegesthanever this year. While it was hard on my body and mind at times, I got through it with the help of friends, loved ones and amazing audiences.
Did some great TV with ABC6/FOX28 Columbus’s Johnny DiLoretto – some of my first experience with LIVE television. I learned that live TV can be a very difficult thing – Johnny handles it like a pro. When it goes well, it’s exhilarating!
I began my commercial acting career in 2011, and worked on commercials and industrials for Intel, Ohio Lottery, Kemba Financial and a few others!
In 2011, I offered an original creation as my first release to the magic community. repAIR is a Popped and Restored Balloon effect that has never been seen before in the history of magic. It was met with favorable reviews and has sold really well so far. The Free Beer Tour* was an event that I put together with Corey Montie where I toured local bars and taught attendees bar bets that they could use to scam their friends out of free drinks.
The Kardashians will become irrelevant. Until one of them does something stupid that acts like catnip for humans and makes television gossip shows go apeshit crazy. The American Public will be thrown into an uproar and they will get government involved, who will use new National Defense Legislation to hold the Kardashians in an undisclosed location. This will launch the Kardashians into a new Reality (ever wonder why reality shows hire writers?) show called “The Kardashians Appeal to Congress.”
Apple will come out with a product that you never knew you needed. By next December, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
McDonalds will work with Paula Dean to introduce a new product called “McFatass.”
A Republican presidential candidate will say something stupid.
A group of people with Mayan ancestry will finally reveal the secret “Part 2” of the calendar they’ve been hiding.
Playboy will offer $50M to Betty White to pose nude. She will accept.
An asteroid will come so close to the Earth that TV News networks will actually be forced to report actual news. The Huffington Post will bump their previous lead-story about what Whoopie said yesterday on The View.
Someone will ask me If I can make them disappear.
You will receive a bad haircut.
Betty White’s Playboy spread will launch her into a career in pornography, shocking everyone who thought the first Golden Girl to do porn would be Rue McClanahan.
The Presidential race will end in chaos when Major News networks announce that the candidate with the most electoral votes was Exxon Mobil.
You will fall in love.
For me, I can already tell that 2012 has some exciting things coming. Two of them I can’t talk about quite yet, but soon! If you get on my mailing list by entering your email address above or clicking here, I guarantee you’ll hear about them! As always, I usually tweet about things as they happen! I hope everyone has had an amazing Holiday Season. Have a wonderful and fun-filled New Years Eve. Make sure you kiss your loved one and hold them tight. If you don’t have a loved one, grab the person next to you and smooch. The memory of the kiss will long outlast the bruise you’ll receive from his or her significant other.
While the 2011 Fall College Tour is really starting to take shape, we’re still adding dates to the calendar every day.
7/19 Tampa, FL
7/23 Eureka, IL
7/25 Bloomingburg, NY
8/11 Grandview, OH (Pecha Kucha Presentation)
8/13 Columbus, OH
8/15 Pembroke, NC
8/20 Pemberville, OH
8/25 Bowling Green, OH
8/26 Manchester, NH
8/27 New Concord, OH
9/1 La Crosse, WI
9/2 Winona, MN
9/4 Oxford, OH
9/6 Camden, NJ
9/7 Pomona, NJ
9/8 Tiffin, OH
9/10 Greensboro, NC
9/12 Cleveland, OH
9/16 Monmouth, IL
9/20 St. Petersburg, FL
9/21 Mattoon, IL
9/24 Jacksonville, IL
9/28 Allendale, MI
9/30 Allentown, PA
10/1 Lebanon, IL
10/9-11 Buffalo, NY
10/13 Mt. Sterling, OH
10/15 Reading, PA
10/20 Crestview Hills, KY
10/22 Bridgewater, MA
10/24-26 Columbus, OH
10/27 Pemberton, NJ
11/5 Fairfield, OH
11/9 Urbana, OH
11/10 Covington, KY
11/17 Tiffin, OH
11/18-19 Hartford, CT
11/29 Flint, MI
12/14 Maineville, OH
For an up-to-date look at the performance calendar – check out the Online Tour Schedule!
If you’re interested in bringing my act to your event or college, send me an email ASAP and we’ll get you hooked up! Keep checking back for calendar updates.
Here is recent footage from the live segments I did with Johnny DiLoretto in December. This was a challenge for me, because in addition to battling an awful head cold, I had to come up with 7-8 bits that were mostly 15-20 seconds each and I wanted to do all stuff that I hadn’t done on ABC6/FOX28 before. Some of the bits worked out great, others came off a little rushed. Directly after the shoot, I performed two shows at the Franklin Park Conservatory and then went home and slept for an entire day.
The best part of the video is when the meteorologist, Dana, reacts to Amy’s mention of Johnny having “two balls in his hand.” He loses it throughout the entire forecast.
The last few days, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the upcoming fall tour. Lots of midwest dates. Lots of driving. Much of the show will remain the same, mostly because I’ve busted my ass to make those parts great and there are millions of people who haven’t seen it. There are some new things that nobody (in this country) has seen that I’m excited about too. New music in the show, too. When I’m on the road doing the show night after night, changing the music can get me super excited to get onstage and even changes the way I perform sometimes too. Whether it’s for 30 people in a cafeteria or 2,000 people in an auditorium, I still get the pre-show nerves every time I go onstage. Those are good 🙂 The tour schedule, as always, is at http://michaelkentlive.com/tour. That reminds me of something else. I’m working with my friend Jon to bring a re-vamped website to you very soon. We’re spending the week in Chicago next week to work on that and some other performing artsy things.
Just got word I’ll be returning to perform at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH again on August 23rd. Bowling Green has recently become one of my favorite schools to play, partly because of it being so close to home, but mostly because of the ROCKIN crowds I’ve had there the last couple times. Two weeks ago, we had over 650 in attendance! If you’re near Northwest Ohio on August 23rd, be sure to catch the show!
The Magic Newswire is a blog/podcast for magicians. There you will see interviews with entertainers like David Blaine, Lance Burton, Neil Patrick Harris and many others. I was recently interviewed about playing colleges and about my recent trip to Korea.
It’s back to the grind performing around these 50 United States. I started off my return from Korea performing at Indiana University Southeast. We had a small crowd (about 50), but the Student Programming Council was thrilled with the turnout! The mascot at IUS (I think would be cooler if the initials were IUSE), is not the Hoosier. It’s the Grenadier. I didn’t know what that was. I thought that’s the stuff they put in coke to make homemade cherry coke. I was informed that is GrenaDINE and that a Grenadier is a person in the war who throws grenades. So I had some fun with that onstage. Here are some photos from the show.
The photos were taken my by friend, U-Gene Dinsmore, a professional wrestler who I met in Korea. After the show, U-Gene picked me up in his sweet ride and we grabbed some food.
From there, I headed back to Ohio to perform at Walsh University’s Lil Sibs Weekend. I had a great time at Walsh. The students and staff there couldn’t have been nicer. I also did one of the more fun shows I’ve done in awhile – it was very high-energy. Normally for a larger crowd (this was almost 400 people), the energy doesn’t have to be as high because I’m normally on a larger stage and the sound and lights do all the work. I can be a little more subtle and let the laughs come. But for this show, there were tons of kids in the audience and the room was big and dark with a riser stage. (Side note: Walsh did an EXCELLENT job of setting up this multi-purpose room for the event). I was running around and yelling the whole show. One of the high-lights was when Dominico, a 9 year old, gave me a $20 to use for the trick. We then learned that someone else had lent the $20 to him and I was trying to give him advice on how to spend it. He wouldn’t stop doing that snappy thing you do with your hand when you’re trying to pack your dip. It was awesome.
I did my own intro to this show, which is something I started doing in Korea. I come out, as if I’m part of the staff (at Walsh, I wore one of their T-shirts). Since I’m not famous, they have no clue what Michael Kent looks like as I’m reading about MK’s accomplishments. Then I leave the stage, take off the t-shirt, and take the stage again, saying, “It’s me….I’m him.”
It was a fun show and I hope to return to Walsh again!
Finally, you can now receive FREE text message alerts from me if you want (standard txt rates apply). Basically, they’ll just let you know if there are really exciting things happening or if I’m performing in your area. Don’t worry, I won’t be texting the crap out of you with stuff like “I just ate a WHOLE habanero pepper!” Although that WOULD be pretty amazing. Click the thingy below if you want to sign up to receive the text messages.
Michael Kent worked his magic as he performed a stand-up routine at afterHOURS Wednesday.
As part of BananAwareness Week, Travis Weisberger, showcases chair for the Council for University Programs, arranged for Kent to perform at Northeastern. Kent is known for putting his own spin on a series of magic tricks by interacting with the audience and treating his act as a comedy routine, a task he admits can be a challenge.
“I started doing comedy in college,” Kent said. “It is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. A comic only has his personality to use [on stage], and I try to bring it to the magic tricks and give them personality.”
Performing in front a crowd of about 200 people, Kent brought forth a series of magic tricks that made audience members like Yuliya Sysevich, a sophomore marketing major, wonder what his secret was.
Syesevich was initially called to the stage when Kent asked for an audience member with “excellent intuition.” To assist Kent with a trick involving a broken glass bottle, four inflated paper bags and Kent’s left hand, Syesevich had to guide him through a step-by-step process in eliminating the bags. One contained the glass bottle with the sharp side up.
With each elimination, Kent crushed the bag with his hand.
“Remember, I’m using my hands here,” Kent said to Syesevich. “If you screw this up, it’s the end of my career and social life as well.”
The only bag Syesevich did not select concealed the jagged glass bottle.
“All of his tricks were really surprising,” Syesevich said. “With each one I was like ‘Wow, how did he do that?'”
Syesevich had an intuitive hunch that everything would turn out all right, but other students, including Grace Turnbull, a middler behavioral neuroscience major, were not as confident.
“I was terrified when he was smashing those glasses,” Turnbull said.
The tricks, along with the jokes and sarcasm, continued for about an hour as Kent brought Nani Stoick, a middler music industry major, to the stage, only to have her volunteer her $100 bill for a trick. After writing her name on the bill, Stoick placed it in an envelope and left the rest up to Kent and his magic. She watched as Kent pretended to shred the bill.
After five minutes of brewing curiosity, Kent returned Stoick’s money to her, retrieving it from a small metal box.
“For a split second I was worried,” Stoick said. “I had a feeling it would be in the box but I have no idea how it got there. I was impressed.”
As Kent’s routine continued, he left the audience pondering the question: what came first, the chicken or the egg? In this case, it was the chicken – a rubber one. With a volunteer from the audience, Kent conducted a card trick in which he managed to transfer a card selected by the audience member to a plastic egg inside a rubber chicken.
When Weisberger first saw this trick performed at the National Association for Campus Activities conference in November, he knew Kent would draw attention at Northeastern and arranged for him to perform.
“It was the chicken trick that sold us,” Weisberger said, “and his smart-ass personality.”
Prior to his performance, Kent eased audience members into his techniques by speaking with them at afterHOURS and promoting the event at the dining halls during the day. Making the audience comfortable and entertaining them is the priority, Kent said.
Whether it involves a rubber chicken, the chance of a bleeding palm or the money to pay for it, Kent said the most important thing is giving people a chance to enjoy themselves, rather than get frustrated, which Kent said is often the result of magic tricks.
“As a kid,” Kent said, “I was interested in magic and used it to compensate for my lack of a social life. I did magic in college to meet girls, and now I do it to pay the bills.”